The Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command, Lawan Jimeta has ordered a full-scale investigation into the gruesome killing of a police officer, Inspector Felix Egbon, who was allegedly murdered during an attack on the operatives of Auchi Divisional Police Headquarters on Friday.
In a statement on Saturday, the police said Inspector Egbon and members of his team were attacked with guns and other dangerous weapons by unknown hoodlums who emerged from the bush at Iyetse quarters, Auchi, while the policemen were enforcing COVID-19 curfew, as imposed by the federal government of Nigeria from 8 pm to 6 am.
Inspector Egbon was shot in the neck and rushed to General Hospital, Auchi where he died, the police said.
The police added that it was soliciting the assistance of sister security agencies, vigilante groups, and hunters in the area in arresting the perpetrators.
The commissioner appealed to the traditional rulers, village heads and youth leaders as well, to assist in providing information that may lead to fishing out those responsible for the death of Inspector Egbon.
The command also advised the perpetrators to submit themselves to the police.
The Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Lafimihan Adeoye says his command is fully prepared for the challenges ahead of the governorship election in Edo State.
Mr Adeoye made the assertion after an assessment tour of several police formations including the Edo State Police Area Command headquarters in Auchi, Edo North and Irrua, Edo Central.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had postponed the election till September 28, 2016, following advice from security agencies in the state.
The Nigeria Police and Department of State Services (DSS) had advised INEC to postpone the governorship election scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2016 in Edo state.
The two security agencies say the advise is based on credible intelligence at its disposal which suggests that insurgents are planning to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets, with high population during the Sallah celebrations which took place between 12th and 13th September.
The agencies say Edo State is amongst the states that was earmarked for the planned attacks.
In a joint statement, the agencies reminded the public that similar threats were issued during the May 1, Labour Day and Democracy Day, May 29, celebrations as well as the Eid-el-Fitr holidays in July, 2016.
The statement further adds, “The security agencies were able to decisively disrupt and thwart the insurgents’ plan. In the same vein, while election is important, the security agencies cannot allow the peace of the country to be disrupted, and we will continue to remain vigilant and ensure consolidation of the successes gained in the current counter-insurgency fight.
“It is in regard of these that we are appealing to INEC which has the legal duty to regulate elections in the country to consider the need for possible postponement of the date of the election in Edo State, in order to enable security agencies deal decisively with the envisaged terrorist threats”, they said.
The National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has raised an alarm over what it calls the proliferation of fake and adulterated wines across Nigeria.
As part of efforts to end the trend, the agency raided some wine shops and markets in Benin City the capital of Edo State.
The Chief Regulatory Officer, Enforcement Operations of NAFDAC Mr Joseph Idowu, said the raid was a renewed determination by the agency to rid the market off fake and adulterated products.
The agency also said it had invaded a fake drug manufacturing company in Auchi, another town in Edo State in a co-ordinated operation.
NAFDAC is mandated to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, chemicals, detergents, medical devices and packaged water (known as regulated products).
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Wednesday said the Nigerian Army will remain resolute until terrorism is crushed in Nigeria as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Army Chief said this in a speech delivered by Maj. Gen. Sanusi Muazu, who represented him at the flagging off of the 17th Combat Service Support Training Week holding at the Nigeria Army School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering in Auchi, Edo State.
He said efforts are underway to enhance the logistics and operational support of the ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ which is executing the war in the north east for quick success.
While decorating the Service Chiefs last month, President Buhari issued an ultimatum to the military to end the insurgency in Nigeria’s North East region within three months and charged them to be accountable for all men and equipment under their command, with the welfare of the troops uppermost in their minds.
The President also pledged to give them the needed support, insisting they protect innocent civilians as well as respect the rights of combatants to earn the support of Nigerians and the International Community.
The Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole has called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar to investigate how criminals sacked the Police Area Command and Divisional Police Station, freed inmates and held Auchi town in Edo North hostage for over three hours with no response from the police. The governor, who made the call during a visit to the paramount ruler of Auchi, said there is need for the police to do soul-searching to see if there are no men within the police who did not compromise security.
“To think that a police station with arms could be attacked and the police could not gun down one criminal gives cause for worry,” Mr Oshiomhole said.
He continued: “I was not happy that the police had to park the Armoured Personnel Carrier behind the Area Commander’s office instead of being at strategic locations in Auchi town. It shows that the police are not using the funds given to them maximally. I am not impressed because the APC ought to be in operation.
“The fact that the APC was packed at the back of the station and bombed there means that it was not put to maximum use. It is unacceptable. They should begin to account for their negligence of duty, incompetence or both. Until we begin to do that, this lamentation will continue and criminals will continue to operate and demystify the state and make us look like a collection of mushrooms that can be consumed with minimal efforts.
“I believe the police will have to do investigation to reassure us that we are safe. The fact that they can attack two police formations and do that kind of damage shows the need to revisit the role of policing and their operational order,” the governor said.
The governor, however, praised the Army for the five soldiers who repelled the attack and killed one of the bandits who attacked and attempted to bomb a private residence where the soldiers reside.
“The point has been made that if you attack a military base you will pay a huge price. For me, that is a little relief that one of the bandits was killed by the soldiers in the sense that his identity will help us to assist the security agencies in their investigations,” he noted. The governor expressed shock at the sheer guts of the criminals, saying that investigations being carried out by the security agencies will help to unravel what happened.
“The security agencies are investigating and I have no reason to believe that their investigation will not lead to positive outcome that will help us to identify these criminals. But much more important is to learn the right lessons from the incident to take security issues more seriously than has been the case.”
He continued: “I am troubled by what I saw, but we are not giving up. The criminals cannot win; they must be defeated and brought to justice. Let reassure your highness that the irreducible responsibility of any government is to protect lives and property. If government cannot protect lives and property, then we are in trouble.
“I accept responsibility as the Governor of Edo State for what happened. We have a duty to contribute in ensuring security. I do hope that you appreciate that what has happened is not because of wont of efforts, it is in spite of efforts.”
The Otaru of Auchi, Aliru Momoh, Ikelebe III, while responding to the issues raised by Mr Oshiomhole, stressed the need for security agencies to demonstrate the will and capacity to carry out their jobs.
The robbers also attacked military quarters but were repelled by the five soldiers in the premises while each side suffered one casualty.
Sequel to the armed robbery attackson Monday the 19th of November in Auchi; Edo State, where four banks including police formations were affected, the Deputy Governor; Dr Pius Odubu has called on the inspector General of Police to deploy more police men with sophisticated weapons to Auchi in order to avert a reoccurrence as he promised that the state will do all within its reach to ensure that those behind the acts are brought to book.
Dr Odubu gave the assurance at the palace of the Otaru of Auchi shortly after assessing the raided banks and devastated police stations at Auchi.
He commiserated with those who lost their lives in the attack and directed the awestruck Etsako Local Government Council to foot the medical bill of the victims in the hospital who were hit by stray bullets.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has once again given the assurance to citizens of Edo state that Saturday’s governorship election will be conducted in a free and transparent manner.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr Kassim Gaidam affirmed that security and logistics arrangement have been put in place to ensure a smooth and credible election in the state.
Visiting the INEC headquarters in Benin, the state capital, it was observed that every individual making his/her way into the premises of the electoral body was searched by security operatives at the entrance.
Mr Gaidam also gave the assurance that all electoral materials and officials will be adequately deployed to all the polling centers across the state.
The situation in Auchi and Etsako in West local government area of the state is also reported to be calm but it was observed that very few military officers were deployed to very pensive communities in Auchi.
Our correspondent Seun Okinbaloye who is covering the area reports that preparations by the electoral officials are also in top gear as youth corps members confirmed that they have their deployments in place.
Henry Ogunjimi, another correspondent of Channels Television, has been combing parts of the state such as Ekpoma, Esan West, Iga in Uromi Esan North-East local government area and everything is calm, hours ahead of the much anticipated polls.
Tragedy struck on Saturday afternoon when a truck crashed into Edo state Governor Adam Oshiomhole’s convoy, claiming the lives of three journalists.
According to reports, the reporters who are assigned to covering the state’s government house were travelling alongside the governor and his entourage, heading to Auchi when the accident occurred.
The truck had a brake failure, causing the driver to lose control descending down Auchi hill along the route. While it narrowly missed the vehicle transporting the governor, it collided head on with the press crew van and an escort vehicle attached to the governor.
Two of the three dead journalists were from Independent Television while the third was a cameraman from Africa Independent Television, according to a news agency report.
The other occupants of the bus survived the accident but sustained varying degrees of injuries. They were rushed to Notre Dam hospital in Auchi where they are currently receiving medical treatment.
Auchi Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr. Olu Afolabi, confirmed the incident.